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Crystals Go to War


Published 1943


"A story in pictures of the preparation and manufacture of quartz crystals for radio communication."


Producer Reeves Sound Laboratories
Sponsor Reeves Sound Laboratories
Audio/Visual sound, color

Credits

Narration by one of the research scientists of the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Produced by André de LaVarre.

Shotlist

CU sticker: "Damage to this Vital War Material is SABOTAGE / Please Handle Carefully."
CU VS quartz crystals, different varieties.
Women workers at Reeves Sound Laboratories cutting and testing radio crystals, making wafers.
Some good CUs of women workers

Reviews

Reviewer: whelanjh - - May 9, 2014
Subject: New understanding for previously seen textbook content
As someone who grew up teaching himself electronics using surplus World War 2 components, seeing these crystals manufactured was like re-uniting with friends from my childhood.

I once moved a crystal for ham radio a little in frequency using Babo and water on a piece of glass. Seeing the precision with which it should have been done was fascinating.

I thought this movie was well worth the time spent watching; always nice to find some history of technology showing up on Prelinger Archives.
Reviewer: Spuzz - - February 1, 2013
Subject: My Tweed Coat matches the Acid Bath Basin Colors
This movie is about how to make crystals ready to be put into radios for crystal clear frequency. The movie, for yes, 40 MINUTES, meticulously, step by step, shows the 40,000 different things crystals go through before being put into a radio. It's actually not that boring, because I love assembly line movies, and thankfully, the movie is more mechanical than technical about such things (it doesn't really go into the chemistry of what makes a crystal tick, it just assumes you know). So yes, testing! Cleaning! Cutting! Cleaning! Cutting! Testing! On and on it goes. Rather dangerous looking machines.. where are the guards? There's a surprisingly large number of women in this film too, working. Some are way too overdressed for work, and look to be wearing their sunday finest to appear in this film. Do you REALLY need your hat on to operate the oscillascope dearie? My, what blood red nails you have... Finally, the narrator continues a rare trend not seen since "An Alchemist In Hollywood" (Hey, I remember these things).. You can hear the narrator quite loudly turning the pages in the script!
Not really worth 40... 40! Minutes of your time, but still interesting if you wanna have a go.
Reviewer: donwert - - December 6, 2012
Subject: Wartime radio
Another of the fascinating films contained in the Prelinger Collection of the industrial processes required to produce a product---in this case,
frequency crystals for use in military aircraft radios. What I always find remarkable in these films is the complexity of the processes and tools
and equipment required. You realize what effort is needed to conceive the methods, design and test the tools and equipment and test the product to assure uniform quality. Films such as these are a tribute to man's ingenuity. Highly recommended!
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Uploaded by
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on 5/24/2012
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